"Where the Light Shines Through" By Kathleen Bailey: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costs

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

“Dear Ms. Penn…”

Olivia Penn is an advice columnist prepping for a big break in New York. Her “Penn’s Pals” is popular enough for a promotion and relocation to corporate offices, and her first novel is also garnering positive interest. The move has become less complicated since she and her almost fiancĂ© Daniel called it quits. Her writing skill may be in her DNA as her late mother was also a writer, and her dad, William Penn, was always her biggest fan. Every week he sent a letter signed “Delighted Daddy” with a poignant question for her to ponder; the current letter asks about the protocol for converting a daughter’s room into a gym. A gym? That sure got a giggle since he’s not one for exercising. “Liv” has a few days before heading to New York, so seeing her dad, helping plant a spring garden, connecting with close friends, enjoying the town’s weekend festival, and participating in a couple of online interviews is on the calendar.

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Image Source Rhino Publishing LLC
Where the Light Shines Through
Earns 5/5 Advice Tips…Entertaining & Clever!

Arriving in Apple Station, Virginia, starts out with an almost collision with her friendly foe Cassandra Collins, who, as she boasts, is lead reporter for the Apple Station Times covering the more juicy topics in crime, business, and council affairs. The snarky repartee was typical for the relationship they’ve had for decades, but no time to spar, Liv has a few errands to run before heading out to her dad’s. She picks up the tiller from her godfather “Frank the Tank,” makes plans to catch up with her BFF Paige Warner, and stops to say “hi” to more close friends. Everyone is so exciting to see her, but obviously worry the break-up with Daniel is more bothersome than Liv lets on. However, when she arrives at her dad’s, she gets shocking news.

Liv gets an urgent call. Her BFF Paige has been found dead. It’s difficult even grasping the word “dead” since she’d just seen her friend and made plans to meet the next day. Paige and Liv had bonded as members of their high school paper which led to Paige becoming a well-respected, hard-hitting journalist with the local paper and colleague of snarky Cassandra. Paige mentioned she was working on something “special” and was heading out to the dilapidated Grove Manor estate ahead of an auction that would sell the house and the land. Now…she’s dead, and the suspect arrested at the scene adds angst to Liv’s devastation, but it does strengthen her resolve to know more, and when Paige’s mother pleads for her help, she’s in.

Big Fun! Kathleen Bailey’s first book in her Olivia Penn Mystery series is a delightfully fun, complex mystery offering traditional cozy elements, a strong female lead, stifled “heart chakra,” diverse multi-generational personalities, small town connections, and interesting family dynamics. The mystery was a mystery within a mystery. The murder, of course, has it’s rumors of professional jealousy, “sort of” sibling rivalry, connections to an exposĂ©, long-ago secrets, and a seemingly spooky manor house, but Liv finds a name and curious phone number when rummaging through her late mother’s things. Of course, snooping leads to threats which leads to stalking which in turn puts Liv and others in jeopardy and the local detective, Preston Hills, on high alert...dimple and all! Engaging. Couldn’t put it down.

Bailey’s writing is entertaining, well-paced, and witty with several poignant moments between father and daughter, Liv and Buddy the beagle, and the detective and the snoop. There are lots of characters with direct or indirect involvement, but it is easy to follow along. Incorporating some of the “Dear Ms. Penn” inquiries along with her advice was a plus illustrating well how Olivia has a handle on realistic responses. Don’t miss the Shedding Some Light at the end which adds insights, “light,” into some of the stories key details. A contender for Top Surprise of 2022!

Preorder Alert! The second book, Silence Says the Most, in An Olivia Penn Mystery, is currently on AmazonPreorder HERE and releasing October 25. “Five days before Halloween, fall turns frightful in Apple Station when a child’s drawing entangles Olivia in a murder at a park lake.”

Be a Big Fan of Kathleen Bailey!

Kathleen Bailey is a new-ish author of traditional cozy “mysteries with heart and humor.” With degrees in English, psychology, and physical therapy and twenty-years of experience as pediatric physical therapist, she can include many fascinating elements to her work. Subscribe to her newsletter: kathleenbaileyauthor.com.

To enter to win a copy of Where the Light Shines through (ebook or print winner's choice), simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "light,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 15, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Life changes in a flash. Sounds like an
    interesting read. thanks

    1. Hi, Mary! Indeed it does. Thanks for checking out my book!

  2. Another great cover. Adding to my TBR list.

    1. Thanks so much! My cover designer did a fantastic job.

  3. Forgot to say that I prefer a print copy.

  4. "Where the Light Shines Through" by Kathleen Bailey sounds like a charming book that I would enjoy reading.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. I've been hearing a lot about this one, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  6. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham

  7. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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